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Tanzania Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Tanzania? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Tanzania? See below for an introduction to Tanzania locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Tanzania Film Locations

Tanzania is a filmmakers paradise offering everything from mass wildlife migration to unique cultures, from snow-capped mountains to pristine white sand beaches.

Locations of particular interest include Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Gombe Stream National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Ruaha National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Arusha National Park, Rift Valley, Nogorngoro Crater, Mafia Island, Lake Natron, Lake Victoria, and Lake Tanganyika.

The fascinating semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar offers interesting looks including palm-fringed white sand beaches, underwater photography on the coral islands, Pemba Island floating underwater hotel, Stone Town bazaars, and winding colonial alleyways.

The TAZARA Railway is a 1,860km (1,160mi) long railway runs through some of Tanzania’s most spectacular landscapes.

Agricultural looks of interest include coffee, tea, cotton, and spice plantations.

Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar are the principal cities from which to base your production.

Tanzania Film Location Permits

Obtaining permission to film in Tanzania can be an expensive and time consuming process, so make sure to allow plenty of lead time. The first step is to complete all necessary applications with the help of your Tanzanian production service producer / fixer. Submit your application to your local Tanzanian consulate so that they can complete the application. Once that is done you send the original document back to your Tanzanian service producer / fixer for finalizing with local Tanzanian authorities. This film license costs US$1,000 if you apply 3 months in advance or US$3,000 if you need the application rushed. Additional licenses to shoot in wildlife parks are also time-consuming.

Photography of unauthorised public locations is illegal. Penalties may include fines, arrest and confiscation of film equipment. 

Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Tanzania has a tropical climate. Coastal areas are hot and humid. Inland areas are warm and dry. Tanzania is suitable for filming all year round although filming is best avoided during the the long rains of March to May.

The best time to film the Serengeti Great Migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and eland is as follows. The dry season from June to October is peak season for general migration photography and good weather. Wildebeest usually cross the Grumeti River in June / July, and the Mara River in September. Wildlife concentrate around dwindling water sources towards the end of the dry season making September / October a good time to film prey. From November to May the landscape is lush. This is also the best time to photograph migratory birds. Wildebeest calve from January to February. March to May is the wet season.

Mount Kilimanjaro is best climbed either from June to October, or January to March. The latter is generally colder and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit.

The best time to visit Tanzania’s coast, its islands and Zanzibar is between August and October.

For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Tanzanian festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Wanyambo Festival in January.
• Kiliman Adventure Challenge in February.
• Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival in May.
• Mwaka Kogwa Festival in July / August.

Ramadan is widely observed in Muslim areas such as Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, with many services closed during this period.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. The greatest cost is the need to bring in all of your equipment and key crew but that is offset by the low local costs. Our Tanzanian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Tanzania.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. There are very few locally based directors, videographers or stills photographers in Tanzania. Keycrew must be brought in from abroad. Local supporting crews can help with basic projects. The closest place to source experienced crews is in nearby Kenya.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Tanzania.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Tanzania’s African population consists of 120 ethnic groups including tribes of hunter gatherers such as the famous Masai warriors. There is also a small population of East Indian, Arab and Caucasian looks. Zanzibar is predominately Muslim.

Tanzania Film Equipment

Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment can be brought in from nearby Kenya otherwise all else must be improvised or brought in from abroad. Customs fees for bringing in even a small kit are around US$1,500.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing. Our Tanzanian fixer organises local cell phones and online communications to help you avoid the high roaming costs of calling to and from Africa.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Art department is best sourced from abroad as there is no sophisticated depth in this field in Tanzania.

Studios and Backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Tanzania has no post facilities. Nearby Kenya has some basic facilities but best to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Most passport holders require a visa to enter Tanzania. Applications can be made at your closest embassy or visas can also be obtained on arrival at the port of entry. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be asked for if arriving from affected countries. See here for more information on visas to Tanzania.

Tanzania has an agreement with Kenya and Uganda to waiver visa re-entry fees if travelling between the three countries.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change regularly. Contact your local Tanzanian embassy or representative for the latest information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are paved but once you leave cities roads are slower going. Avoid road travel by night. Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro are the main ports of entry by air. Several international airlines service flights to Tanzania.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Dar es Salaam include:

Coral Beach Hotel
The Oyster Bay Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Vaccinations may be required depending on where you are filming. See here for more information.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Tanzania, please see below:

Hire Tanzania Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Tanzania, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Tanzania, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.